Meesha Shafi

Meesha Shafi (born 1 December 1981) is a Pakistani actress, model and a singer.[1]

Meesha Shafi
Birth nameMeera Shafi
Born (1981-12-01) 1 December 1981
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Occupation(s)Singer, Film actress, model
InstrumentsVocals, lyrics
Associated actsCoke Studio Pakistan and Overload

Shafi made her film debut with a supporting role in the 2013 Mira Nair's film The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The following year she appeared in Bollywood film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, which ranks among the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2013 in India. She achieved further critical success for her role of Laxmi, an Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing's operative, in Bilal Lashari's action thriller film Waar, which ranks among the highest-grossing Pakistani films of all time in Pakistan..

Early life

Shafi was born into a Punjabi family in Lahore, Pakistan to actress Saba Hameed and Syed Pervaiz Shafi. She did her A Levels from Lahore Grammar School and graduated with a degree in fine arts from National College of Arts in 2007.[2]



Shafi entered the modelling industry at the age of 17, when she starred opposite Jawad Ahmed in the music video for the song "Bin Teray Kya Hai Jeena".[3] In 2009 Shafi became the brand ambassador for L'Oreal Paris Pakistan.[2][4] She has featured in many Pakistani magazines and in international publications such as L'Officiel and Vogue India.[3] In 2013, Shafi was named among the 100 most influential people in Pakistan by Hello magazine.


Shafi made her screen debut with the 2006 serial Muhabbat Khawab Ki Soorat on Hum TV. She then appeared in Geo TV serial Ye Zindagi To Woh Nahi in 2007.

She made her film debut with Mira Nair's 2012 Hollywood film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (based on Mohsin Hamid's novel of the same name), alongside Kate Hudson and Riz Ahmed. The film describes the bad impact of Americans toward Muslims after 9/11. Shafi had a minor role and appeared in only two scenes in the film in the role of the male lead's sister. The film received mixed reviews from critics, and failed to break even at the box office.[5][6]

The following year, she starred in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Bollywood film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, alongside Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor. The plot is based on the life of Milkha Singh, an Indian athlete who was a national champion runner and an Olympian. Shafi had a minor role in the film and played the rebellious Olympic swimmer, Perizaad, who was romantically attracted to Milkha Singh.

She then acted in Bilal Lashari's Pakistani film Waar, alongside Shaan Shahid. Her portrayal of Laxmi, an Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing's operative was critically praised by the Pakistani media. The movie won her the 'Best Supporting Actress' award at the ARY Film Awards in 2014.

As of October 2013, Shafi had several projects in production and was filming Hollywood film The Tournament of Shadows (based on Karl Meyer's book of the same name), a biopic set in the 1800s. The film failed to make an impact at the box office.

In 2016, Shafi has a lead role in the TV costume drama Mor Mahal which is set in the mid-19th century.

Music career

Shafi started her singing career with the band Overload with her husband, but left in 2011. Shafi sang along with the internationally acclaimed folk singer Arif Lohar on Coke Studio Pakistan Season 3, with the song "Alif Allah (Jugni)". The single, originally composed and performed by Lohar, gathered over 20 million+ views on YouTube, was the most-viewed Coke Studio song ever, until it was overtaken by "Tajdaar-e-Haram", and was used in several films like Cocktail, Diary of a Butterfly and Jugni.

She sang a rendition of the folk song "Chori Chori", which received mixed reviews. She returned to Coke Studio (Season 5) in 2012 when she sang "Ishq Aap Bhi Awalla" with the Chakwalees and sang a ghazal by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, "Dasht-e-Tanhai".

In 2014, Meesha Shafi returned to the Coke Studio floor for a third time to perform "Sun Ve Balori" with the composer and tabla guru Ustad Tafu and producers Strings.

In 2015, Meesha Shafi lent her vocals to two OSTs. One being 'EVA' that was produced by Strings is featured on the soundtrack of the film Moor, released in August 2015, and directed by director Jami.

In August 2015, she released 'Mehram Dilaan De Mahi' for the OST of the biopic (directed and portrayed on screen by Sarmad Khoosat), based on the life and works of prose writer, Manto. The track is produced by True Brew Records and the lyrics are by Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi. 'Manto' was released on 11 September 2015.

TV appearance

In April 2013, Shafi joined Strings, Ali Azmat, Shahzad Hasan and Alamgir as a judge and mentor on the singing talent show Cornetto Music Icons, aired on ARY Digital.

Personal life

Shafi's maternal grandfather, was a novelist and newspaper columnist, president of the Progressive Writers' Movement, and editor of Urdu daily newspapers including Imroz and Nawa-e-Waqt. In 2008, she married musician Mahmood Rahman.[7] The couple have two children, a daughter named Janevi, and a son named Kazimir.[8]

Ali Zafar Incident

In 2018 Meesha Shafi accused actor Ali Zafar of sexual harassment during the MeToo movement wave. The court dismissed her case on technical grounds, citing she was not an employee and was not covered by workplace harassment act.[9]



2013The Reluctant Fundamentalist[6]Bina KhanEnglish
2013Bhaag Milkha BhaagPerizaadHindi
2013WaarZoya, LaxmiUrdu, EnglishARY Film Award for Best Supporting Actress[10]
2014The Tournament of ShadowsEnglishFilming


2016Mor MahalFarrukh ZaadUrdu


2009Pichal Pairee
2012The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Coke Studio songs

2010"Chori Chori"Originally sung by Reshma
2010"Alif Allah"Performed with Arif Lohar
2012"Dasht-e-TanhaiOriginally sung by Iqbal Bano
2012"Ishq Aap Bhe Awalla"Performed with Chakwal Group
2014"Sunn Ve Balori"Originally sung by Noor Jehan
2014"Jugni"Originally sung by Alam Lohar
2016"Aa Rahe Haq Ka Shaheedo"Originally sung by Naseem Begum[11]
2016"Bholay Bhalay"
2016"Aya Lariye"


Year Song Film Composer
2015 EVA Moor Strings
2016 Sun Vey Bilori Shaan-e-Ishq Amir Munawar
2017 24/7 Lak Hilna Punjab Nahi Jaongi Shani Arshad

Pepsi Battle of the Bands

Year Season Song Notes
2017 2 "Speaker Phaar"

2018 3 "Koi Sarda Aye Te Sare"

Originally sung by Noor Jehan

2019 4 "Leela"

See also


  1. "About: Meesha Shafi". Web PK. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  2. "Meesha interview with Fashion Central". Fashion Central. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  3. Mansuri, Anam. "It's getting hot in here". Tribune Pakistan.
  4. Hirani, Shireen. "Meesha Shafi Biography & Pictures". Fashion in Step. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  6. Crossing Dangerous Borders (in the movie 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist') The New York Times, Published 19 April 2013, Retrieved 7 April 2019
  7. Ben, Mark (31 May 2016). "Meesha Shafi Singer 'A Daughter of Saba Waseem'". Archived from the original on 9 June 2016.
  8. Syed, Madeeha (11 May 2014). "Spotlight: Mum's the word! (Meesha Shafi and her actress mother Saba Hameed)". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  9. Bilal, Rana (11 October 2019). "LHC dismisses Meesha Shafi's appeal in harassment case against Ali Zafar". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. " Naseem Begum: The Tragedy Queen". Retrieved 2 October 2016.
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